Day 4 - Mt Kinabalu


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Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Mount Kinabalu
March 26th 2012
Published: March 28th 2012
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Today was a rather massive day...We woke up slightly later than we would have liked this morning and didn’t get on the road till 9am by the time we had breakfast and got the kiddies organised to leave for our drive to Mt Kinabalu.

The drive to Mt Kinabalu took about 2 hrs, but somewhere along the way we took a wrong road so it maybe could have taken slightly less time. The drive was nothing like we expected. I expected it to be fairly flat with Mt Kinabalu just sticking up. It wasn’t this way at all. It is very mountainous the whole way. Not easy driving at all.

Once at Mt Kinabalu National Park we decided to do the walk up to view the mountain and the waterfall. By the time we got up there we couldn’t see anything as it was covered by cloud. We were really disappointed as it was a hard walk up, considering it was only a few hundred metres. Although we couldn’t see much it was still great to be up there. What I found interesting was that I thought it would be very rainforrest-y but in fact although there were lots of rainforest plants, there were a few plants pointed out that looked like they could belong in Australia. The walk up and down to these viewing points was very steep and quite a few loose steppings along the way.

There are lots of different short, medium and long walks you can do whilst there. We would have loved to have had more time there.

You are able to climb Mt Kinabalu by doing an overnight trek up. We walked down to where the trek starts and spoke to a couple that literally just walked through the gate from doing it and they said it was fantastic but hard work. They definitely looked exhausted. You have to obtain a permit to do the trek up and it is all gated off with security to even get to the starting point. Every year they have a challenge for climbing Mt Kinabalu – I have no idea how these people have done the time they have!

By the time we left the park it was 1pm and we were on our way to the Sabah Tea Plantation. Being a big tea drinker I was excited when I found the tea plantation on-line and was a must to do and see. The drive up the drive-way to the place is one bumpy, rocky ride. Unfortunately when we got there the factory was closed for tours today. I was really disappointed about this but they do have a restaurant there so we stayed for a late lunch (was around 2.30pm by this time). I know I said I was disappointed about not being able to do a tour but the lunch made up for it. I ordered a house special of “Sabah Tea” butter chicken, it was absolutely beautiful – not like the butter chicken we get here in sauce. It was actually in a light batter and I could really taste the shred of tea leaves that were in it. Yum, Yum, Yum. Stu ordered some steamed rice with vegetables in a delicious sauce. Zavanna ordered a prawn salad and I think she was expecting a green salad with prawns but it was actually lightly fried prawns with some sort of creamy sauce with peas, carrot and corn through it. She still enjoyed it even though she was put off at first. Danika ordered a fresh vegetable soup and again, absolutely loved it – she was raving over it for half the trip home. Although we were full we couldn’t leave without trying their signature “Sabah Tea” pancakes – they were quite tasty but I couldn’t get past the texture of them. To be they were like eating playdough (because I eat playdough all the time – just joking of course). The girls enjoyed them though. Of course, we had to have a cup of their tea so I ordered a plain black cup of tea and Stu ordered a cinnamon tea. The tea was actually really quite nice and has a good deep strength to it.

Before we left the Sabah Tea House we of course purchased some tea to bring home with us – hopefully customs doesn’t have anything to say about it! One thing that is quite impressive about the tea is that it is the largest single commercial tea plantation in the whole of Borneo to produce fully certified organic tea.

So we left the plantation and had intended on going to the Poring Hot Springs but decided against it as it was already nearly 4pm and we weren’t sure how long it would take to get back to K.K. Well I’m glad we didn’t because we didn’t get back till 7pm. It was a long, tiring, slightly stressful drive back as we took another wrong turn somewhere which probably put us back an hour. Now I know a tradesman should never blame his tools, BUT bloody Nora, this map was not accurate at all!!! Turns were the opposite of where they are on the map. The war memorial was placed on the completely wrong side of the road to what the map said. What is the moral of the story? Perhaps hire a GPS next time – although we can laugh about it now. Anyways, we worked out that we were on the right track and then low and behold, it started raining very heavily and the fog was that thick it reminded Stu of being back in Reporoa, NZ. We couldn’t even see 10mtrs in front of the car in some sections. The total drive home was only about 150km’s but the weather was so bad and we were stuck behind trucks for some stretches. At times we were only doing 20kph up hills. It was very frustrating and Stu has even said that he would class some sections of the road as a goat track.

Arriving back at 7pm, I stayed in and got Frankie fed and into bed while Stu, Dani and Zav went over to the food stalls across the road to get dinner. We got 3 rice dishes, a beef and vegetable dish and 2 serves of Pisang Goreng (sounds awful, but it is actually sliced banana in a light batter and then fried. What is different about this Pisang Goreng compared to the Pisang Goreng we had on Langkawi the last time we were in Malaysia is that this one has melted cheese on top. It sounds very strange but is yum. The other type we tried was with cheese and strawberry on top. If you are ever here you have to try it. After such a long day it was a very satisfying meal for a total of RM26 or just over A$8. Seems ridiculous to feed the 4 of us dinner on $8.


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